Chris Farrell

Columnist | Your Money
Chris Farrell is economics editor for American Public Media's weekly "Marketplace Money" show and author of "The New Frugality." He answers reader questions on most Sundays. Send questions to and put "Your Money" in the subject line.

Recent content from Chris Farrell

Farrell: To own or rent? Many seniors weigh options

I read that at some point in one's senior years, it is better to rent rather than own a home. Is there any merit to this idea in 2012?

Updated: June 16, 2012, - 09:20 PM

Farrell: Failures prompt question about diversification

QMy wife and I are retired and rely on our investments to supplement our pensions.

Updated: June 09, 2012, - 09:14 PM

Farrell: Though tempting, it's best to keep student loans

Q I have a Stafford student loan, $45,000 with a fixed annual percentage rate of 4.5 percent. Currently this loan is with ACS Education. However, this loan has been sold more than 10 times in the last eight years and I feel that it's a matter of time before it is sold again to another firm.

Updated: June 02, 2012, - 09:16 PM

Performance matters - but fees do, too

A recurring theme of these columns is that when it comes to investment returns, fees matter a lot.

Updated: May 24, 2012, - 11:14 PM

'No-brainer' portfolios OK, but watch allocations

QHave a fragile recovery, high gas prices and what seems like endless volatility in the market changed the wisdom of the "no-brainer" portfolio as the long-term mix of investments -- say 25 years in my case -- for a traditional IRA?

Updated: May 12, 2012, - 04:22 PM

Understanding tradeoffs is key to strategy

QI'm selling my house and buying a new one, something of an upgrade. I'll have about $100,000 left from my sale, and the new house is $250,000. I earn $90,000, I don't have much other debt, but my retirement savings are not great.

Updated: May 05, 2012, - 03:37 PM

April is a good time to reflect on tax policy

Ah, it was down to the wire with my taxes.

Updated: April 24, 2012, - 10:41 PM

Retirement fund keys: Work longer, start saving earlier

Investing dominates most discussions of retirement planning. How much are you saving in your 401(k), 403(b) and similar retirement savings plans? What's your asset allocation in the portfolio, your mix of stocks, bonds, and cash?

Updated: April 14, 2012, - 04:42 PM

Farrell: Playing a market hunch? Limit your bet to 10 percent

Q It sounds like you are a believer in Standard & Poor's index funds because of the fees. Is that correct, and if so, do you recommend any in particular? I have heard that Vanguard is good, and they charge 0.17 percent. 

Updated: April 07, 2012, - 09:34 PM

Long-term care insurance decision takes research

Q My husband is 63 and I am 62 and we are starting to look into buying long-term care insurance. The annual premium really is quite expensive. I was wondering if you had any words of wisdom for us.

Updated: March 31, 2012, - 05:13 PM

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